December 20, 2017

Control the assumptions, control the outcome

Whether it relates to weather prediction models, polling questions or  even (perhaps especially) "non-partisan" assessments of government budgets, if you control the assumptions, you control the outcome.  Liberals get it, we don't.

I work extensively with statistical models in my day job.  Models can have very strong predictive power if they are created with proper diligence. That means that you must control the assumptions that go into them to avoid creating your own confirmation bias.  If you skew the input variables you skew the outcome accordingly.  For example if you treat a missing value in a row of data as a zero as opposed to ignoring the missing value, you are lowering your overall average and therefore skewing your outcome towards a lower value for that particular income.

Democrats have understood this for decades - controlling "non-partisan" groups in order to control the message that comes out of them to condemn every Republican bill (e.g. the recent tax cuts) and heap praise on every Democrat bill (e.g. Obamacare's fictitious budgetary cost reductions).  They have granted money extensively to scientists to predict weather calamity as a result of global warming, thus incenting them to find problems in order to secure more funding.  Intentionally done or not (it really is intentional), the results are skewed towards the desired outcome.

Democrats have stacked everything in their favor over decades of working their way into positions to do so - not just entertainment, journalism, government bureaucracy but also polling firms, lobbyists and even statistical modelling and supposedly non-partisan  organizations.  The trick in the latter is to find a gullible but well-intentioned Republican to co-found an organization or co-sponsor a bill in congress so the claim of non-partisan can be applied. Afterwards they ensure that they stack the top positions and teams involved with those who will find, or skew their findings to their own liberal liking.

This is an important lesson for conservatives.  It will take decades but we should be working towards undoing those decades of entrenching bias and deliberately skewed findings just as we should be working towards re-balancing journalism and entertainment and all the way down to the assumptions that go into models and forecasts.  It's not just a matter of voting for the right people and hoping for the best, or leaving it to them to do all the work. Progressives understand this and are fighting this way on all fronts, if conservatives do not fight with the same level of intensity, we are destined to lose despite being on the right side of the truth.

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